St Giles on the Heath County Primary
Joan Adams told Breathing Places all about it:
"Breathing Places has been a really excellent tool for our Environmental Club!
"We are a small rural school on the Devon/Cornwall border in a beautiful area, full of wildlife. We are lucky to have an Environmental Area at the top of our school field. We have a pond teeming with newts, frogs and toads, raised beds for growing vegetables, and an abundance of wild areas which provide us with an array of insects. As we border farmland, wild birds come to feed, nest and drink here. The area is constantly used within the school curriculum: be it science, literacy, art, maths or whatever!
"We have just started a newsletter. it's an invaluable way of connecting the Club with the rest of the school and our parents! It lets us share our ideas and latest activities with everyone and if we need something, we have a space in the letter called a Begging Box which works really well! Our weekly Environment Club runs after school and our parents have been brilliant at bringing in plants, vegetables and seeds for us to sow. We also have financial support from our PTA.
"And finally this project has meant that we have worked with many outside agencies from the West Country Rivers Trust-Wet Feet Project, South West Water, Devon Gardens Trust and the BTCV, through to local groups who have shared wonderful conservation projects and hands-on experiences with us.
"In the future we want to encourage a more diverse number of both wildlife and children to the area! We are already planning to visit other local schools to share some ideas and expertise.
"Our headteacher says:
"'The Environmental Area is an invaluable resource for the school, which brings the science curriculum alive. Children experience nature 'up front and personal' on a regular basis.'
"Our parents say:
"'The Club is brilliant! The children get direct contact with nature as it is. Just because they are country children doesn't mean that they SEE things around them. I wish I'd had a place like this when I was at school!'
"'It's a good after-school activity to make children aware of environmental issues in such a fun hands-on way!'
"'It's fab for the children to learn about how tiny eco-systems can benefit larger ones and how to encourage and enjoy wildlife!'
"Our children say:
"'It's nice for people to have a garden who don't have one at home.'
"'It's good! We learn about plants and birds and how to make homes for wildlife so they can come in our garden with us!'"